Popping the Belmont Balloon

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There are different ways to let the air out of a balloon, but the fastest is to prick it with a pin. That’s what happened to the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown balloon late Friday morning with the stunning news that Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another would not be running on Saturday for a chance to become horseracing’s 12th Triple Crown winner.

I first heard about what turned out to be a career-ending tendon condition –  the early onset of tendonitis in the left foreleg – from Scott Hazleton of HRTV when it was still in the rumor stage, around 10:45 a.m. The network was about to go on the air and trying to get the rumor confirmed or denied. I checked immediately with a high-ranking official in the New York Racing Association racing office who assured me he was completely unaware that the son of Flower Alley had any kind of physical problem.

In the few minutes it took to go from the racing office to the office of NYRA communications director Dan Silver, it was apparent the rumor was well founded. Silver couldn’t comment beyond saying a press conference with trainer Doug O’Neill and Paul Reddam was scheduled for 1 p.m.

O’Neill, meanwhile, was confirming the situation on radio with sports talk host Dan Patrick. Twitter was soon lit up with the news, which spread like wildfire. There were long faces throughout Belmont Park.

The injury and retirement of I’ll Have Another deals a multi-faceted blow to horse racing.

First, there are those people whose lives were uplifted by I’ll Have Another, from O’Neill and his brother Dennis, to owners Paul and Zillah Reddam, to the people who worked for Team O’Neill, and even to Hope Hudson, the young Missouri girl with a rare disease who was invited to come along for the joyride during the Triple Crown as part of a Make a Wish Foundation venture. They were all so close to becoming part of horse racing history.

Then there is the New York Racing Association, which was pinning its hopes on an enormous crowd – possibly exceeding the 120,139 who came out when Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown bid was ended by Birdstone in 2004. The other recent Triple Crown attempts brought out 94,476 in 2008 (Ta’ Dara upset Big Brown on an extremely hot, humid day), 101,864 in 2003 (Empire Maker beat Funny Cide on a rainy afternoon), 103,222 in 2002 (Sarava upset War Emblem).

Non-Triple Crown Belmonts in recent years have ranged from an attendance high of 73, 857 in 2001 when Point Given won the Preakness and Belmont to a low of 45,243 two years ago when Drosselmeyer won and neither Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver nor Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky was in the starting field.

All seats reportedly were sold out in advance, but the walk-in attendance is big on Triple Crown attempts. Conventional wisdom suggests a Triple Crown try is worth about 40,000-50,000 people. With $10 general admission charges that’s upwards of $500,000 NYRA probably was counting on. Add to that the loss of on-track concessions, along with an expected drop in pari-mutuel handle, not just at Belmont Park but in nationwide simulcast and ADW betting, and on-track concessions at Belmont Park.

Triple Crown days aren’t just big at Belmont Park. From Hastings Park in Vancouver, Canada (the second home of I’ll Have Another’s jockey, Mario Gutierrez), to Gulfstream Park in South Florida, track managers throughout North America anticipated a surge in attendance, wagering and concessions as I’ll Have Another made his bid for history.

NBC Sports can expect a significant drop in ratings for the Belmont telecast now that I’ll Have Another has been scratched. Production crews will be scrambling between now and late Saturday afternoon to produce new storylines and features for the telecast.

Coverage of the race on print and television will also take a hit. Sports Illustrated senior writer Tim Layden said editors told him a Triple Crown win would mean a cover story and eight pages inside the magazine. After the scratch, he wasn’t even sure Sports Illustrated would publish a feature story on the Belmont.

Critics of horse racing will use the injury as additional ammunition against the sport, even though O’Neill made a decision that was in the best interest of the horse. When you put the horse first in making those tough decisions, it’s also in the best interest of racing. O’Neill and Reddam deserve praise for their handling of the situation.

“This is extremely tough for all of us,” O’Neill said when he led off the press conference confirming I’ll Have Another’s retirement. “Though it’s far from tragic, no one died or anything like that, but it’s extremely disappointing for the whole team.”

“It’s a bummer,” said O’Neill’s California friend, Mark Verge, the CEO of Santa Anita Park. “But Doug’s right. It’s not a tragedy. A tragedy is when you see a young kid in the hospital with cancer and two days later they’re dead.”

That does put things in perspective.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GN75TMMTTZCDAKCKWH4QH6RDYQ Ronald T

    Many have tried but few are chosen….Like him or not O’Neill made the right call..I know some others who would have gotten out the ice tub and taken a shot at the crown anyway….

    • stillriledup

       Some may say that the only reason he ‘did the right thing’ is because the horse is so valuable as a stallion. He hasnt always done the right thing by his cheaper horses, he’s even admitted that.

      Hopefully this is a ‘new leaf’ that Douglas is turning over and he won’t run horses unless they’re 100 percent sound.

      I doubt i’ll be seeing Doug’s name in the Pgm at Los Al anytime soon, seems like he’s a new man who understands how to do things the right way. Hopefully other trainers follow his lead.

      • Lory

        still -very few horses are 100 % sound -there is a vast difference between racing sound and 100% sound .i doubt if 5% of horses racing are 100% sound -they are atheletes that train and work over distances that are taxing all the while carrying 10%  of their weight or more on their back . the few horses that are such freaks to have perfect conformation might or might not be 100% sound . i think i have seen one that was perfect as well as sound and he was very fast but he also was a Quarter Horse . and he was a freak in a lot of ways.

        • Jimculpepper

          Very few horses bred by horse breeders are sound; however the pampas bred criollo racers of Argentina compete in races of hundreds of miles in a few days, after being held together on a common pasture for a month to insure uniform conditioning. They subsist on forage found along the race route. Those who pass all vet checks are issued a certificate of soundness, deeming them fit for breeding. It is rumored that the spanish mustangs of N. America are equally sound.  Extreme selection for any given trait selects against all other traits; thus no coincidence that contemporary speed merchant are progressively less durable.  Some non equine breeding programs use a trait index to buffer this kind of result.

          • Lory

            have seen a few ferral horses ,while there is a romantic notion regarding them most i have seen run to being inbred parasitic infested horses with few strong traits. the pampas horses are in endurance setting that i would not consider a race it is basically a trail ride. do they run ? -do they gallop ? we have 40 mile endurance rides here also with vet monitoring .see few wonder trainers and not that great a bunch of horses either. take any really decent TB and there are a lot of areas they can shine in .take a horse like IHA and he would walk most of the 40 mile horses into the ground. i saw the best arabian race horse in Kon TIKI run into the ground hopelessly beaten over a mile and a half by a not real good $1500.00 claimer yes $1500.00 not $15k i also saw the eclipse(theirs)mare run at pikes peak was a world in front at 1/4 pole with a time that would have placed my $2500.00 horse 15 lengths in front of her.when you compare apples to oranges you can end up with egg on your face.

    • joseph

      without the barn… he would have done more than iced. 

      • Dc

        O’Neil has never had a ruling against him for narcotic’s,  you have no idea what you are talking about and probably can’t spell horse let alone know what to do with one. It is sad people like you live in such a small world, Doug did the right thing period. The injury was very minor and probably he could have run and win, but why he a nice horse he has earned the respect that Team O’Neil showed him, and if you had any knowledge what so ever you would know that detention barn or not the decision would have been made the same. Next time you decide to run your ill informed mouth, do yourself a favor look up his rulings and google the medications and see what they are  and what they are used for, and and far as the high bicarbs I would love to know when baking soda became a drug.
         

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GN75TMMTTZCDAKCKWH4QH6RDYQ Ronald T

    Many have tried but few are chosen….Like him or not O’Neill made the right call..I know some others who would have gotten out the ice tub and taken a shot at the crown anyway….

  • stillriledup

     Some may say that the only reason he ‘did the right thing’ is because the horse is so valuable as a stallion. He hasnt always done the right thing by his cheaper horses, he’s even admitted that.

    Hopefully this is a ‘new leaf’ that Douglas is turning over and he won’t run horses unless they’re 100 percent sound.

    I doubt i’ll be seeing Doug’s name in the Pgm at Los Al anytime soon, seems like he’s a new man who understands how to do things the right way. Hopefully other trainers follow his lead.

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    I believe a quote from the great commentator Jack Whittaker sums up today perfectly.  He made it on ABC television after the sure thing super horse Arazi lost the Derby.  Racing fans he said “are the most sentimental of people…in the most unsentimental of sports.”  We all will dream again for a Triple Crown winner, and perhaps it is sitting in someones barn just waiting to start racing right now.  While this is a nightmare, it could have been a tragic one, and lets all be thankful the horse is safe and mostly sound. 

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    I believe a quote from the great commentator Jack Whittaker sums up today perfectly.  He made it on ABC television after the sure thing super horse Arazi lost the Derby.  Racing fans he said “are the most sentimental of people…in the most unsentimental of sports.”  We all will dream again for a Triple Crown winner, and perhaps it is sitting in someones barn just waiting to start racing right now.  While this is a nightmare, it could have been a tragic one, and lets all be thankful the horse is safe and mostly sound. 

  • Lory

    still -very few horses are 100 % sound -there is a vast difference between racing sound and 100% sound .i doubt if 5% of horses racing are 100% sound -they are atheletes that train and work over distances that are taxing all the while carrying 10%  of their weight or more on their back . the few horses that are such freaks to have perfect conformation might or might not be 100% sound . i think i have seen one that was perfect as well as sound and he was very fast but he also was a Quarter Horse . and he was a freak in a lot of ways.

  • Jimculpepper

    What a let down, but that’s racing; those who want to know results prior to a decision should take up following supreme court cases.  I seem to recall stillriledup predicting a breakdown due to overworking this colt. 

    • stillriledup

       I don’t remember predicting a breakdown lol but if you mean it as a compliment in my prognosticating abilites, i’ll take whatever i can get!

      • Jimculpepper

        Perhaps “breakdown” overstates; however, if that was  your blog, I think you complained about the milage on the colt and the speed as well.

        • stillriledup

           Jim,  you’re right, its a hard thing to come back in 2 weeks after the Derby, some horses just cant handle that quick comeback. Luckily for all of us, they caught the problem before he stepped onto the racetrack for the post parade.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HBI6ED45S7XH4IOHVURB2VXRE4 Chris Lowe

      Or follow pro wrestling, beauty contests, “reality shows”, awards shows,and elections.

  • Jimculpepper

    What a let down, but that’s racing; those who want to know results prior to a decision should take up following supreme court cases.  I seem to recall stillriledup predicting a breakdown due to overworking this colt. 

  • joseph

    utmost respect to cuomo. he challenged everyone to race clean. if it drives the game out of the state… it was never a sport. the nyra would never had made this decision on its own pre state takeover. he is calling their bluff. he is winning. i respect his stance and agree. this is not a surprise. and this horse was not sound. 

    • Aasystemsds

       sounds ignorant

      • joseph

        google it. look for facts not emotions. if ny can become the bastion of high purse clean racing… the rest of the country will look like the wwf. an entertaining farce – not a sport. we will look back on this entire era like we do baseball on steroids. bball is clean now. it took 5yrs. it was embarrassing for the sport. now it is hotter than ever. IHA is great. so was bonds. they both have an asterix and always will. 

        • Figless

          NYRA would not have made what decision?

          The only decision was made by the horses connections, who could have easily run, the horse was not lame and would have passed the vet with or without the detention barn.  

          Cuomo will ruin NY racing, IF he doesnt get spitzered first. His only interest is getting elected to higher office, I could go on and on off topic but you get my drift.

          Comparing baseball, with centralized management, and racing, is a joke. IF NY takes unilateral action on medication it will be out of business in one year, all the horses will run elsewhere.

          The issues need to be coordinated and solved on a national level something even the all powerful magnificent Cuomo will find outside his reach.

          • May Flower

            “The only decision was made by the horses connections, who could have
            easily run, the horse was not lame and would have passed the vet with or
            without the detention barn.”

            This is one of the reasons why racing is in the mess it is.

          • joseph

            nyra made the detention barn decision. this forced the scratch. o’neil would have iced it. shot it up. and run for the crown. everyone knows that. ignorance is bliss… and their is alot of bliss in this chat. i am sure anyone that thinks racing will disappear if you try to clean it up… also believes that WWF is a sport. 

          • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

            Actually, it was Cuomo who asked the NY State and Racing Wagering Board to do something under pressure from PETA and other groups.  NYRA did not mandate the barn, the NYSRWB did.  They are completely different entities.  NYRA had to scramble just like everyone else to try and get something to work. 

        • Canarse

          Baseball is clean?  Ha, ha!  The use of steroids and HGH have been greatly reduced, but clean is a ridiculous statement.  From amphetamines to pine tar to cork and other substances baseball has been a game of cheating for it’s entire history.  You are truly misinformed.  To say baseball is hotter than ever is like saying D. Wayne is in the prime of his career.

  • joseph

    utmost respect to cuomo. he challenged everyone to race clean. if it drives the game out of the state… it was never a sport. the nyra would never had made this decision on its own pre state takeover. he is calling their bluff. he is winning. i respect his stance and agree. this is not a surprise. and this horse was not sound. 

  • Jimculpepper

    Very few horses bred by horse breeders are sound; however the pampas bred criollo racers of Argentina compete in races of hundreds of miles in a few days, after being held together on a common pasture for a month to insure uniform conditioning. They subsist on forage found along the race route. Those who pass all vet checks are issued a certificate of soundness, deeming them fit for breeding. It is rumored that the spanish mustangs of N. America are equally sound.  Extreme selection for any given trait selects against all other traits; thus no coincidence that contemporary speed merchant are progressively less durable.  Some non equine breeding programs use a trait index to buffer this kind of result.

  • stillriledup

     I don’t remember predicting a breakdown lol but if you mean it as a compliment in my prognosticating abilites, i’ll take whatever i can get!

  • Jimculpepper

    Perhaps “breakdown” overstates; however, if that was  your blog, I think you complained about the milage on the colt and the speed as well.

  • stillriledup

     Jim,  you’re right, its a hard thing to come back in 2 weeks after the Derby, some horses just cant handle that quick comeback. Luckily for all of us, they caught the problem before he stepped onto the racetrack for the post parade.

  • Matthew Martini

    If I’ll Have Another has a problem, kudos to the connections for not racing him tomorrow. But retirement? There must be a deal in the wings, or something that we do not know about. I have not watched the interviews from the connections yet. As a fan, I find the whole conclusion curious.

    I think I’ll Have Another is a great horse. I also think last year’s winner of the KY Derby, Animal Kingdom, is a great horse. Animal Kingdom has been star-crossed with regard to injuries, but I think that he has huge wins left in him if he rehabilitates well. I hope to see him on the track once he is well. I feel the same about I’ll Have Another. I hope his connections reconsider retirement.

    In recent years, after the retirements of Curlin, Rachel Alexandrea, and Zenyatta, racing is in need of a star who could help people migrate to the sport, when they were not already there. Before I went to work this morning, Good Morning America had a profile of I’ll Have Another. It was great. It will likely be years before we see a horse racing segment on that show again.

    But I guess one only gets to see a great three-year old for a few races these days.

    • RayPaulick

       Matthew,

      That’s a fair question you ask, and I appreciate you saying  you had not read all the comments from I’ll Have Another’s connections.

      According to veterinarians and past experiences that I can recall, this type of injury necessitates a lengthy time out of training: let’s say six months. The horse then has to be brought back slowly, which means you’re looking at probably months. As Doug O’Neill said today, horses that have tendon issues can come back and race sound, but they usually don’t come back and compete at the same level.

      There have been some real veterinary advancements made in treatment of tendon injuries, but it would be rare to bring this good of a horse back from an injury of this nature, especially knowing there is a very good chance his performances might be compromised.

      In my opinion, today’s retirement was based on an ethical decision and an economic one, and I suspect the ethical questions weighed heavier. The ethical decision was based on whether or not is the right thing to do to run I’ll Have Another with a condition that could be dramatically worsened through the stress of a major race like this. I applaud the connections for making what I think was the proper decision.

      The asset management portion is pretty simple. If I’ll Have Another is worth $15 million (just a number, not based on sourcing), to race and possibly injure him in the Belmont would have the effect of declining his value. To bring him back in another year, knowing that he would likely not be as competitive, would have the same effect.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/GN75TMMTTZCDAKCKWH4QH6RDYQ Ronald T

        Ray   You are correct about the time frame on this type of injury and in most cases rehab is usually a year or more, and if they make it back it’s invariably racing at a reduced level….This used to be called a bow and to steal a line from one very good old school trainer “the only guy good with a bow was Robin Hood”..Whatever the reason given for the retirement call after the injury it was a good one….

      • Vavmark

        He was showing signs of this at Pimlico before the Preakness. The Belmont detention barn made it harder to “manage” to the point where he wouldn’t have passed his pre-race vet check. The “pre-Triple Crown” O’Neil would have run him if he was at a track where there was less scrutiny. The charm offensive he’s been on (and NYSRWB’s clamping down) forced him to walk the talk…this was the right decision for the horse, but if that was all that mattered to these connections, they would have made it one race ago.

        • Don Reed

          Beautifully stated, especially, the last sentence.

    • stillriledup

       You say racing is in need of a star, what about a HUMAN STAR? Someone who would slash takeout rates for the bettors and make betting affordable would be a rock star in many people’s book.

  • Matthew Martini

    If I’ll Have Another has a problem, kudos to the connections for not racing him tomorrow. But retirement? There must be a deal in the wings, or something that we do not know about. I have not watched the interviews from the connections yet. As a fan, I find the whole conclusion curious.

    I think I’ll Have Another is a great horse. I also think last year’s winner of the KY Derby, Animal Kingdom, is a great horse. Animal Kingdom has been star-crossed with regard to injuries, but I think that he has huge wins left in him if he rehabilitates well. I hope to see him on the track once he is well. I feel the same about I’ll Have Another. I hope his connections reconsider retirement.

    In recent years, after the retirements of Curlin, Rachel Alexandrea, and Zenyatta, racing is in need of a star who would help people migrate to the sport, when they were not already there. Before I went to work this morning, Good Morning America had a profile of I’ll Have Another. It was great.

    But I guess one only gets to see a great three-year old for a few races these days.

  • RayPaulick

     Matthew,

    That’s a fair question you ask, and I appreciate you saying  you had not read all the comments from I’ll Have Another’s connections.

    According to veterinarians and past experiences that I can recall, this type of injury necessitates a lengthy time out of training: let’s say six months. The horse then has to be brought back slowly, which means you’re looking at probably months. As Doug O’Neill said today, horses that have tendon issues can come back and race sound, but they usually don’t come back and compete at the same level.

    There have been some real veterinary advancements made in treatment of tendon injuries, but it would be rare to bring this good of a horse back from an injury of this nature, especially knowing there is a very good chance his performances might be compromised.

    In my opinion, today’s retirement was based on an ethical decision and an economic one, and I suspect the ethical questions weighed heavier. The ethical decision was based on whether or not is the right thing to do to run I’ll Have Another with a condition that could be dramatically worsened through the stress of a major race like this. I applaud the connections for making what I think was the proper decision.

    The asset management portion is pretty simple. If I’ll Have Another is worth $15 million (just a number, not based on sourcing), to race and possibly injure him in the Belmont would have the effect of declining his value. To bring him back in another year, knowing that he would likely not be as competitive, would have the same effect.

  • s/s

    The horse wasn’t going to race. The tendon has been there for some time. He milked the attention for weeks now feeding his ego and building his business. Since when do any of you think Doug O’Neill is the least concerned about the horse. The real truth might come out soon. NY was on to him.

  • Jsmauro13

    bang on. cuomo got him.

  • Aasystemsds

     sounds ignorant

  • stillriledup

     You say racing is in need of a star, what about a HUMAN STAR? Someone who would slash takeout rates for the bettors and make betting affordable would be a rock star in many people’s book.

  • joseph

    google it. look for facts not emotions. if ny can become the bastion of high purse clean racing… the rest of the country will look like the wwf. an entertaining farce – not a sport. we will look back on this entire era like we do baseball on steroids. bball is clean now. it took 5yrs. it was embarrassing for the sport. now it is hotter than ever. IHA is great. so was bonds. they both have an asterix and always will. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GN75TMMTTZCDAKCKWH4QH6RDYQ Ronald T

    Ray   You are correct about the time frame on this type of injury and in most cases rehab is usually a year or more, and if they make it back it’s invariably racing at a reduced level….This used to be called a bow and to steal a line from one very good old school trainer “the only guy good with a bow was Robin Hood”..Whatever the reason given for the retirement call after the injury it was a good one….

  • Figless

    NYRA would not have made what decision?

    The only decision was made by the horses connections, who could have easily run, the horse was not lame and would have passed the vet with or without the detention barn.  

    Cuomo will ruin NY racing, IF he doesnt get spitzered first. His only interest is getting elected to higher office, I could go on and on off topic but you get my drift.

    Comparing baseball, with centralized management, and racing, is a joke. IF NY takes unilateral action on medication it will be out of business in one year, all the horses will run elsewhere.

    The issues need to be coordinated and solved on a national level something even the all powerful magnificent Cuomo will find outside his reach.

  • Canarse

    Baseball is clean?  Ha, ha!  The use of steroids and HGH have been greatly reduced, but clean is a ridiculous statement.  From amphetamines to pine tar to cork and other substances baseball has been a game of cheating for it’s entire history.  You are truly misinformed.  To say baseball is hotter than ever is like saying D. Wayne is in the prime of his career.

  • Vavmark

    He was showing signs of this at Pimlico before the Preakness. The Belmont detention barn made it harder to “manage” to the point where he wouldn’t have passed his pre-race vet check. The “pre-Triple Crown” O’Neil would have run him if he was at a track where there was less scrutiny. The charm offensive he’s been on (and NYSRWB’s clamping down) forced him to walk the talk…this was the right decision for the horse, but if that was all that mattered to these connections, they would have made it one race ago.

  • swaps55

    Yet another few starts wonder blazes across the racing scene.  From reading Paulick’s report on how trainers conditioned for the Triple Crown in the past, we have to wonder if the decision to train IHA to the Belmont without works was a factor in not keeping the bones and cartilage strong and pliable.  Or, perhaps as one post suggested, the tendon was becoming a factor before the Preakness and rest was required…not chemical masking.  And as an observer on another site suggested, we have to wonder if Bodemeister would have been gunning for the triple if he had not had some possible air restriction from a combined use of a ring bit, snaffle bit and tongue tie.

    This was a great Triple Crown season with lots of good horses.  It ended on a sad note, but that is better than a tragic note.  Clearly in the end two talented horses stood out from the crowd.  A season to remember..

    • Dc

      So now you are a trainer.

      • swaps55

        A former racehorse owner who observes all the horses that can’t get to nine or ten starts.  note the reply below. 

  • swaps55

    Yet another few starts wonder blazes across the racing scene.  From reading Paulick’s report on how trainers conditioned for the Triple Crown in the past, we have to wonder if the decision to train IHA to the Belmont without works was a factor in not keeping the bones and cartilage strong and pliable.  Or, perhaps as one post suggested, the tendon was becoming a factor before the Preakness and rest was required…not chemical masking.  And as an observer on another site suggested, we have to wonder if Bodemeister would have been gunning for the triple if he had not had some possible air restriction from a combined use of a ring bit, snaffle bit and tongue tie.

    This was a great Triple Crown season with lots of good horses.  It ended on a sad note, but that is better than a tragic note.  Clearly in the end two talented horses stood out from the crowd.  A season to remember..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HBI6ED45S7XH4IOHVURB2VXRE4 Chris Lowe

    Or follow pro wrestling, beauty contests, “reality shows”, awards shows,and elections.

  • Anne

    It really does seem to be true doesn’t it. 

  • May Flower

    “The only decision was made by the horses connections, who could have
    easily run, the horse was not lame and would have passed the vet with or
    without the detention barn.”

    This is one of the reasons why racing is in the mess it is.

  • Don Reed

    Beautifully stated, especially, the last sentence.

  • Don Reed

    From now on, three-four weeks before the TC races, and knock an 1/8th of a mile off each distance.  Your horses are permanenetly watered down with decades of drugs having been administered to them.  They cannot run the distances that their ancestors in the 1950s-70s did without breaking down.  Period.

    • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

      I completely disagree.  To do that would put an asterick next to every horse that then accomplished the feat.  The sport will see another Triple Crown Winner…when one is truly worthy…make the Triple Crown too easy to win and it ceases to become the Triple Crown anymore.  There is a reason only 11 horses have won it…

    • Larry Ensor

      Nonsense

  • Don Reed

    From now on, three-four weeks before the TC races, and knock an 1/8th of a mile off each distance.  Your horses are permanenetly watered down with decades of drugs having been administered to them.  They cannot run the distances that their ancestors in the 1950s-70s did without breaking down.  Period.

  • joseph

    nyra made the detention barn decision. this forced the scratch. o’neil would have iced it. shot it up. and run for the crown. everyone knows that. ignorance is bliss… and their is alot of bliss in this chat. i am sure anyone that thinks racing will disappear if you try to clean it up… also believes that WWF is a sport. 

  • joseph

    without the barn… he would have done more than iced. 

  • joseph

    http://www.thepilot.com/news/2010/aug/15/two-success-stories-two-different-philosophies/
    all you need to know. the “old doug o’neill” is as recent as 2010. 

  • joseph

    http://www.thepilot.com/news/2
    all you need to know. the “old doug o’neill” is as recent as 2010. 

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    Actually, it was Cuomo who asked the NY State and Racing Wagering Board to do something under pressure from PETA and other groups.  NYRA did not mandate the barn, the NYSRWB did.  They are completely different entities.  NYRA had to scramble just like everyone else to try and get something to work. 

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    I completely disagree.  To do that would put an asterick next to every horse that then accomplished the feat.  The sport will see another Triple Crown Winner…when one is truly worthy…make the Triple Crown too easy to win and it ceases to become the Triple Crown anymore.  There is a reason only 11 horses have won it…

  • Larry Ensor

    Nonsense

  • Dc

    O’Neil has never had a ruling against him for narcotic’s,  you have no idea what you are talking about and probably can’t spell horse let alone know what to do with one. It is sad people like you live in such a small world, Doug did the right thing period. The injury was very minor and probably he could have run and win, but why he a nice horse he has earned the respect that Team O’Neil showed him, and if you had any knowledge what so ever you would know that detention barn or not the decision would have been made the same. Next time you decide to run your ill informed mouth, do yourself a favor look up his rulings and google the medications and see what they are  and what they are used for, and and far as the high bicarbs I would love to know when baking soda became a drug.
     

  • Dc

    So now you are a trainer.

  • swaps55

    A former racehorse owner who observes all the horses that can’t get to nine or ten starts.  note the reply below. 

  • Lory

    have seen a few ferral horses ,while there is a romantic notion regarding them most i have seen run to being inbred parasitic infested horses with few strong traits. the pampas horses are in endurance setting that i would not consider a race it is basically a trail ride. do they run ? -do they gallop ? we have 40 mile endurance rides here also with vet monitoring .see few wonder trainers and not that great a bunch of horses either. take any really decent TB and there are a lot of areas they can shine in .take a horse like IHA and he would walk most of the 40 mile horses into the ground. i saw the best arabian race horse in Kon TIKI run into the ground hopelessly beaten over a mile and a half by a not real good $1500.00 claimer yes $1500.00 not $15k i also saw the eclipse(theirs)mare run at pikes peak was a world in front at 1/4 pole with a time that would have placed my $2500.00 horse 15 lengths in front of her.when you compare apples to oranges you can end up with egg on your face.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GN75TMMTTZCDAKCKWH4QH6RDYQ Ronald T

    ANNE, Please do your homework and study the past…..The NYSRWB is and always was incompetent…….

  • Noelle

    Ray, the burst balloon was a perfect metaphor. My brother called me with the news as a friend and I were en route to NY Friday morning and there was a moment when I thought we might as well turn around and go home. This was just too disappointing.

    I really do wonder what is wrong with the modern Thoroughbred. The champion horses of yesteryear not only ran the Triple Crown races, but threw a race or two in between, just for the heck of it. Something fundamental has changed since the days of Count Fleet and Citation and the rest of those horses who could run all day and stay sound.

    We didn’t go home – we had a good time at the races and I enjoyed seeing Union Rags (my second choice) perform as well as I knew he could. But I despair of ever seeing a truly great horse, whether it’s the drugs, or the breeding for speed over stamina, or the effects of steroids over generations, or whatever it is that seems to have made greatness impossible.

  • Noelle

    Ray, the burst balloon was a perfect metaphor. My brother called me with the news as a friend and I were en route to NY Friday morning and there was a moment when I thought we might as well turn around and go home. This was just too disappointing.

    I really do wonder what is wrong with the modern Thoroughbred. The champion horses of yesteryear not only ran the Triple Crown races, but threw a race or two in between, just for the heck of it. Something fundamental has changed since the days of Count Fleet and Citation and the rest of those horses who could run all day and stay sound.

    We didn’t go home – we had a good time at the races and I enjoyed seeing Union Rags (my second choice) perform as well as I knew he could. But I despair of ever seeing a truly great horse, whether it’s the drugs, or the breeding for speed over stamina, or the effects of steroids over generations, or whatever it is that seems to have made greatness impossible.

  • Jsmauro13

    bang on. cuomo got him.

  • Anne

    It really does seem to be true doesn’t it. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GN75TMMTTZCDAKCKWH4QH6RDYQ Ronald T

    ANNE, Please do your homework and study the past…..The NYSRWB is and always was incompetent…….

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